PHY 2054 (Physics 2 without Calculus) Fall 2018

Course Overview


Prof. Guenakh Mitselmakher
2021 New Physics Bldg.
Phone: 392-5703

Prof. Yasu Takano
2356 New Physics Bldg.
Phone: 392-9326

Dr Sujata Krishna
2249 New Physics Bldg.
Phone: 392-3898


Send e-mail only to phy2054 AT so that all instructors can see it and have all information in one place. Note that homework help is given during your discussion section and during office hours, not through e-mail.

Class lecture

TR Period 2 (08:30 - 09:20am) 1001 NPB
TR Period 3 (09:35 - 10.25am) 1001 NPB


College Physics (authors Paul Peter Urone and Roger Hinrichs) is a free textbook from OpenStax (which you used in Physics 1). Follow the direct access link to the pdf file and other resources.

There is also a very useful online version of the textbook which has additional examples and resources.

You can also download the textbook in iBook format for Volume 1 and Volume 2 through iTunes to read on an iPad or Mac in a very convenient format. Each volume costs $2.99.

Note that there are two ISBN numbers, depending on format.
Digital ISBN-13: 978-1-947172-01-2
Print ISBN-13: 978-1-938168-00-0

About the course

PHY2054 (Physics 2 without calculus) is the second semester of Physics without calculus, covering electrostatics, electric current, electric circuits and their components, magnetism, induction, electromagnetic waves, optics, optical devices, interference and diffraction. It is typically, but not exclusively, taken by biological sciences majors and pre-professional students, i.e., those planning careers in health care, optometry, pharmacy, etc. It is not a suitable course for physics, chemistry or engineering majors, who are encouraged to take PHY2049 (Physics 2 with calculus) or PHY2061 (enriched Physics 2 with calculus), both of which offer similar material but with more mathematical emphasis.

Lectures: Class lectures occur only twice a week and we are unable to cover everything in the texbook. We attempt to cover the explicitly quantitative aspects of the course or the areas that we feel next extra attention..

Grades: Grades are based on total points accumulated from exams, discussion section quizzes, homework and HITT in-class quizzes. The calculation is shown on the grading page.

e-Learning course website: The lectures notes, practice  exams, exam grades, quiz grades, homework grades and HITT grades will be posted at the e-Learning course site.

Schedule: Dates for lecture topics, exams, quizzes and homework are found on the schedule page.

Honor Code: The UF Honor Code applies to all aspects of this course, as detailed on the course Academic Honesty link. It is mandatory that you report any possible infractions to your instructor immediately.

Students with disabilities: Students requesting classroom accommodation for disabilities must first register with the Disability Resource Center and follow their procedures for exam accommodations. This has to be done at least one week before the first exam. DRC will administer all exams.

Required work

  • This web site serves as the syllabus for the course. Each page on the web site has a link on the menu at left. You are required to read each of these pages. The web site is detailed and chances are any policy questions you may have are answered here.
  • You are responsible for ongoing course work: reading the text for the assigned material, attending lecture and taking in-class HITT quizzes, doing the weekly homework, attending discussion section and taking the quizzes, and taking the exams.

Effective strategies for learning physics

From interviewing students we have found that the A to B+ students have better habits and spend more time on this course than B and C students. In particular, they rarely miss class, pay attention during class, do all the recommended homework problems and more, read ahead and study the material for several hours a week (not just before exams). Developing good habits at the start of the semester, before things get busy and you fall behind, will help you succeed.

A large fraction of your study time should be devoted to problem solving, which is essential to learning and cannot be replaced by mere listening and reading. This is the reason we provide you a significant number of end-of-chapter questions and problems, web-based problems, quizzes and Java applets.

The following strategies will help you to do well in the course:

  • Use office hours. If you don't understand something, ask someone during office hours. Office hours are spread across many hours of the week for your convenience. There is also a Teaching Center with people and resources for students taking Physics courses.
  • Keep up with the course. The best strategy for success is to stay up to date with the readings and homework. In particular, solving problems will improve your performance on exams and quizzes far better than memorizing formulas or cramming. A good rule of thumb is that you should be spending about 6-9 hours on the material outside of class.
  • Attend lectures and discussions regularly. We cannot stress enough the importance of coming to class and paying attention while there. Although you might not understand everything presented in lecture and discussion, you are unconsciously processing information that will serve you well later. Frequent class skipping or failure to pay attention contributes strongly to poor student performance.
  • Read ahead before lecture. Even though you may not understand the chapter material, a cursory advance reading "primes" your brain to be receptive to the material when it is discussed in lecture or discussion.
  • Ask questions. Your question is not stupid and is probably widely shared. You can ask questions in private (in office hours) if you wish. And even if you (wrongly) feel asking makes you look stupid, you will look far worse if you miss exam problems because you didn't ask. For our part, we'll make sure that our answers aren't stupid. :-)